Thomas Henry Kavanagh VC (15 July 1821 – 13 November 1882) was an Irish recipient of the Victoria Cross, the highest and most prestigious award for gallantry which can be awarded to British and Commonwealth forces.
He is one of only five civilians to have ever been awarded the VC.
He was 36 years old, and a civilian in the Bengal Civil Service during the Indian Mutiny when the following deed took place on 9 November 1857 at the Siege of Lucknow, India for which he was awarded the Victoria Cross:
Mr. Thomas Henry Kavanagh, Assistant Commissioner in Oude On 8 November 1857. Mr. Kavanagh, then serving under the orders of Lieutenant-General Sir James Outram, in Lucknow, volunteered on the dangerous duty of proceeding through the City to the Camp of the Commander-in-Chief, for the purpose of guiding the relieving Force to the beleaguered Garrison in the Residency, a task which he performed with chivalrous gallantry and devotion.
An erratum appeared in a later edition of the London Gazette stating that the deed was actually performed on 9 November as follows:
The Act of Bravery for which Mr Thomas Henry Kavanagh has been awarded the Victoria Cross, was performed on 9 November 1857, instead of the 8 November, as stated in the London Gazette of the 8 July 1859.